Don’t Ever Be Miss An Opportunity To Create A New Story

The goal of this post is to remind you to always be looking to create new stories with the people you care about. Stories are what you’re always going to remember and talk about when you’re together and they are what help build new relationships and keep old ones connected. Don’t ever miss an opportunity to create a story, especially if it’s with someone you care a lot about. Quick confession, I actually re-wrote this entire post after working on it for several days straight. I still don’t think it’s perfect, but if I waited for perfect I’d never get anything done.

A couple of weeks ago I was planning on making a trip back to Indiana with my wife Stephanie. We were heading back because Stephanie was the Matron of Honor for her best friend’s wedding (her name’s Megan) the first weekend that we were home and my sister was getting married on the second weekend. My sister actually planned it to work out that way — yeah, she’s cool like that.

While we were home we were also planning to run in the Indianapolis half marathon, otherwise known as the “Indy Mini”, that kicks off all of the Indy 500 festival stuff that goes on in Indianapolis during the month of May. The race was running the morning of my sister’s wedding, but we would have plenty of time to run it and make it back for all of the planned festivities. Of course, we were also planning on running around Indiana hanging with our friends and family while we were home, too but that’s always pretty much a given.

It was shaping up to be quite the trip home, but it was about to get just a little more complicated (in a good way).

I ended up calling one of my good friends Ryan Mollenkopf who loves in Nashville, TN and as I was telling him about my plans for going home with the weddings, running and what-not he tells me that he’s running a half marathon in Nashville the first Saturday that I’m home and that he could probably get me a free entry. Interesting.

After thinking about the logistics of the whole thing I tell him that I’ll make the five hour drive down to Nashville to run with him because it’s crazy and I haven’t seen him in forever. It just felt right and it felt exciting. Yeah, it’s a lot of driving. Yeah, I might end up being late coming back to Stephanie’s best friend’s wedding. But, it will also be an amazing trip, will create an awesome story and will give me the chance to hang out with one of my best friends who now just happens to have a 9 month old son. I was in and it was going to be epic. The stories we have with each other are what keep us close together and it had been way too long since we made one.

Mollenkopf and the best thing he’s ever made, Ryder

Now that I was going to Nashville I needed to invite some more friends. No one likes to roll solo on road trips.

Me: Yo, JD! You won’t believe what I’m doing in a couple weeks.
JD: Yes, I probably will believe you — what’s up?
Me: I’m driving down to Nashville and running a half marathon with Mellonhead.
Me: Yep, I’m flying in on a red eye, going to a rehearsal dinner then taking off straight down to Nashville. After the race I’ll have to drive straight back to Indy so that I can make it to Megan’s wedding in time. It’s going to be awesome and I wanted to see if you were up for going with me.
JD: Duh, I’m in. Let me know the details once it gets closer.
Me: Niiiiice. You need to get a hold or Marc, too and see if he wants to go. He never calls or texts me back, but that’s how Marc does things.
JD: Yep, I’ll make sure that Marc knows about it and we should invite Arone (our other buddy Aaron), too — we could pick him up on the way down.

When an idea gets created with this much energy everything else ┬ájust seems to come together — and that’s exactly what happened. I flew in, went to the rehearsal stuff, met up with JD and Marc and drove down towards Nashville. Everyone at the rehearsal thought I was nuts, but I can understand why. We picked up Aaron on the way and road tripped it the rest of the way down while cracking jokes, making fun of each other and catching up with what’s going on in our way-too-busy lives.

We made it to Mollenkopf’s around 1am and we had a couple of beers before we all fell asleep so that we could get at least a couple of hours in before getting up and running 13.1 miles. Mollenkopf and I both had an actual entry and bib for the race, JD was going to drink the whole time and Marc and Aaron were going to sneak in so that they could run with us. Sounded like a good plan to us.

We ran most of the race and talked about as much as we could during the two hours and thirty-five minutes that we were heading for the finish line. I got updated on pregnant wives, kids, jobs and stories that I unfortunately don’t get to hear enough of these days. We all lived to see the finish line and we had some valuable conversations along the way.

The road trip crew — Mollenkopf, me, Aaron and Marc

When we were done I cleaned up as fast as I could, we all said our goodbyes to Mollenkopf, his girlfriend Stephanie and their son Ryder and then hit the road back to Indianapolis. We dropped off Aaron and said our hellos to his wife Joey and then merged back on I-65 North like we stole somethin’. Time was moving fast and I needed to be back as soon as possible. During the drive we had some more great conversations that I won’t ever forget. It’s funny what you can find out about someone when you’re stuck in a car with them for over ten hours in over a day and a half. It was a haul and I loved every second if it.

Once I got back I dropped of JD and Marc, threw on my shirt and tie and headed to the wedding. I missed the entire ceremony (it was bound to happen), but I made it there in time for cocktail hour and the reception which Stephanie was OK with. The reception was rowdy how I like it and we all tore up the dance floor. It was a fantastic wedding and all of the people we met were super cool.

I was fashionably late to the wedding, but I made it

What a trip and what a story. I can’t wait to create some more.

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